One evening my son came very excitedly to the living room to let me know that he found something in my closet. He refused to tell me what it was but quickly grabbed my hand to pull me into the bedroom.
“Look there!”, he said with sparkles of joy in his eyes. “It’s my jar!”
He was pointing to the top shelf of my closet, where he discovered the little jar we prepared for him on his fifth birthday.
The jar had a cute label on it where it was written with blue letters: “What we love about you”. Inside, there were colorful pieces of paper, each of them containing a reason why someone close to him loved him. (We gathered messages from family members, friends, even his teacher, and we added several messages from us.)
“Read all of them to me!”, he asked, as he sat on the carpet right in front of the closet.
He emptied the jar on the floor and proudly looked at the pile of colorful notes. For the next 10 minutes, he watched me opening the little pieces of paper and reading the notes.
He smiled the whole time and took every single note into his hands, one by one, before carefully putting them back in the jar.
It reminded me of the night he received the jar as a gift on his birthday. He asked his dad to read all the notes several times and fell asleep with the jar next to his pillow.
In the next days, he would ask us to read the messages over and over again, until he almost knew them by heart. And I could tell this little surprise touched him in a way none of the other gifts did.
This is why, last year, on his first day of school, I prepared another surprise to show him how much his family loves him (the video I mentioned at #3 on this list of lovely first day of school gifts for kids). And it had such a wonderful impact on him!
There is something magical about these little surprises for kids! Even when children can’t put their feelings into words, you can see the joy that fills their hearts when they feel loved!
4 little surprises for kids that will make them feel loved
Often these simple ways we show our kids how much we love them matter a lot more than we imagine!
Because the truth is that years from now, when they will look back at their childhood, remembering that they were surrounded by love will mean more than anything else!
This is why today I want to share with you a list of simple ways to prepare surprises for kids that will fill their love tank!
They are very easy to prepare, and I hope they will bring a lot of joy to your little ones!
1. Place heart-shaped love notes all over the house
You can prepare this surprise after the kids go to sleep or while they are at school.
You will need heart-shaped pieces of paper (or even regular pieces of paper if you don’t have the time to cut them into special shapes) and tape. Another alternative is to use heart-shaped post-its.
On each piece of paper write one thing that you love about your child.
Then place the notes all over the house, in different places where you know your child will find them (the kitchen table, the bathroom mirror, the fridge, their bed, the walls, etc). The kids will love to discover them!
Another way to prepare this surprise is to display all the notes in the same place, like the door of your child’s room.
(If you have more than one child, you can either display the notes in different places for each child (like their beds) or use a different color of love notes for each child, so they will know what notes belong to them.)
2. Give the gift of happy moments together
Every single time I offered this gift to my son, it not only brought a lot of joy when he received it, but it also brought many happy moments together afterward.
A coupon book for kids is a surprise that you can easily prepare at home in a few minutes!
To create the coupon book, you will need:
– white paper (you can use regular paper for the cards and cardstock paper for the covers)
– a stapler or a hole punch and a ribbon or washi tape (depending on how you want to bind the coupons)
– the printable coupons (you can either create the coupons yourself or download the printable coupons from here).
I try to include different ideas anytime I offer my son a coupon book.
Sometimes I include gift coupons that he can use for things like his favorite dessert, breakfast in bed, or a day without chores.
Other times I focus on mom-child dates that we can do together, and I offer him a coupon book with a few nice date ideas (like an ice-cream date, a LEGO building date, or a trip to the zoo).
The set of printable coupons includes 52 ideas, so you’ll have plenty of inspiration to help you create a new coupon book anytime you want to surprise your kids and connect with them.
3. Create a special “What I love about you” jar
This is the idea I mentioned at the beginning of this post. We prepared it for my son’s fifth birthday, and it was a huge success!
Here is what you’ll need:
a jar or a little gift box (I used this plastic jar)
colorful pieces of paper (I used cards like these because they look very cute)
a label to put on the jar.
You can create the jar in 3 simple steps:
Create the “What I love about you” label and add it on the jar (we wrote “What we love about you” because we gathered messages from more people)
On the colorful pieces of paper write different things that you love about your child. Try to be as specific as possible because kids love when we notice little things about them (like the way they smile in the morning, how they hug their favorite stuffed animal at bedtime, how they stop to admire nice flowers when they go on a walk).
Fold all the pieces of paper and put them in the jar, then offer the gift to your child.
4. Plan 14 days of love notes for your child
This is what I plan to do this February from the start of the month until Valentine’s Day, but you can use this idea anytime you want to make your child feel loved!
For 14 days, leave a special note for your child every day in the same spot. You can place them in your child’s lunch box if they go to school or just leave them on the breakfast table every evening for them to discover in the morning.
On each note, write a compliment or an encouragement for your child, or just let them know how much you love them.
To prevent your child from being disappointed at the end of the 14 days, you can plan a nice thing to do together at the end of the two weeks and tell them about it in the last note.
Also, if your child likes this idea, you can transform it into a family tradition and do it every year in February (if you celebrate Valentine’s Day) or in the month when your child celebrates their birthday.